Origins at the beginning of the 11th century
The Norman sovereigns enjoyed the fiefdom of Flamanville for several generations. In a document from 1008, it is mentioned that the Duke of Normandy Richard II granted it to his wife Judith of Brittany. In the middle of the 14th century, the Venois family owned the estate which was sold in 1403 to the Abbey of Blancheland, who sold it in 1406 to Colin I Basan.
The Basan family, from the beginning of the 11th century to the middle of the 18th century
The Basans were lords of Flamanville from 1406 to 1752. The castle was originally a pleasure house modernized by Guillaume Basan, baron of Flamanville in the 16th century.
In 1654, construction began on the castle desired by Hervé Basan, Marquis of Flamanville, wanting comfort to match his fortune and social rank. A sumptuous reception inaugurated the castle in summer 1658.
Jean-Jacques Basan, the latest member of its men’s line branch, is at the initiative of many developments. Between 1730 and 1740, the lower courtyard expanded and freed up the main courtyard. The north gallery was then built there, the marquis’ apartment with a mezzanine and a small outdoor terrace on the ground floor. For the sake of consistency and harmony, a gallery was built to the south. Today called L’Orangerie, this marble-paved gallery is a replica of the one to the north.
The Tale of Nonant-Raray, from 1752 to 1820
The castle passed to the Nonant-Raray family when Jean-Joseph Le Conte de Nonant became Marquis de Flamanville on the death of his wife.
The Sesmaisons family, from 1820 to 1888
After her death in 1820, the Marquise de Flamanville bequeathed the castle and lands of Flamanville to Claude-Louis-Gabriel-Donatien, Count of Sesmaisons, member of the general council of Manche from 1825 to 1833. Her son Marie-Louis-Edgard-Hervé is the last member of the Sesmaisons family, owners of Flamanville. Like his father, he was involved in local political life as general councilor of the canton of Les Pieux (1871-1889) and mayor of Flamanville (1874-1888). Following financial difficulties, the castle was put up for sale in 1888.
The Micent and Rostand families, from 1888 to 1978
Flamanville castle and part of the adjoining land were acquired by Charles Milcent, art and manufacturing engineer. In December 1891, a fire struck the north pavilion, which was rebuilt at the end of the 19th century. Upon his death, Charles Milcent, owner for 25 years, bequeathed the castle to his daughter Marie-Louise, wife of André Rostand.
André Rostand (1878-1965) was municipal councilor, then Mayor of Flamanville (1919-1944) and general councilor (until 1940). Passionate about history and archaeology, he published many articles on the subject and was director of the newspaper La Dépêche de Cherbourg (1919-1940).
Occupied by German and American troops, the castle suffered some damage during the Second World War. The Germans occupied the large living room, two bedrooms and the south gallery for the ammunition depot and then as a theater. During the liberation, the Americans stayed at the castle and set up a kitchen in the south gallery.
After the war, André Rostand carried out renovations: the roof was redone and the ruined or unused parts were destroyed (cartyard, chaplain’s house). Subsequently, it became difficult for the Rostand family to maintain the castle in good condition. Ivy invaded the towers and pavilions of the chapel and the manager, this gave them a romantic appearance but not favorable to their conservation.
After the death of André Rostand, his children kept the castle for a few years, some continuing farming, before putting it up for sale. Between 1978 and 1981, several buyouts and unsuccessful projects took place, notably the acquisition by the Société d’Aménagement Foncier et d’Établissement Rural de Basse-Normandie which carried out the reallocation of agricultural land.
The municipality of Flamanville, since 1986
In 1986, the castle and its park were purchased by the municipality of Flamanville at the instigation of its mayor, Mr. Patrick Fauchon. Having not been maintained for a long time, major restorations are necessary. The municipality is renovating the roofs, consolidating the walls and rebuilding the partly collapsed north-east tower. The restorations are still in progress and arrangements have been made to organize cultural events and sporting and associative activities.
Greatly damaged by the storm of 1987, the municipality entrusted the management of the communal woods to the National Forestry Office (ONF).
Since 1930, the castle has been listed in the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments. The park, vegetable garden, fence wall, pond, greenhouse, courtyard garden, ice house, garden fence, are also classified.